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Ed Sheeran

Whānau ora funding gets National thumbs

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National's crown Māori relations spokesperson Nick Smith is welcoming the budget lift for whānau ora, but says it should have been bigger.

Mr Smith says whānau ora was developed through a strong partnership between National and the Māori Party, but its funding was effectively frozen for 18 months as the new Government reviewed its effectiveness.

Now it is to get another $80 million over four years, about a 20 percent increase,

"If you're going to make meaningful, long term change in the lives of Māori New Zealanders then we believe the whānau ora programme has proved its worth. The government did a big review and gave it a pretty strong thumbs up so we are delighted that successful programme we introduced as Government is going to be continued because it is good for New Zealand and it is good for Māori," Mr Smith says.

He's underwhelmed that less than one percent of new spending in the Budget is directed at Māori programmes like whānau ora.

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